Any good books on trees and plants?
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    1,881
    Thanks
    1,455
    Thanked 1,434 Times in 746 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Any good books on trees and plants?

    I'm not sure if anything on this exists in the way I want...but I am looking for a book (or books) that would cover some different types of trees and plants. Something that would show a variety of species from different climates and have good illustrations or photos. Preferably multiple images per species so that I can see how it varies from individual to individual, or from looking at the textures up close vs far away. I'm not necessarily looking for an art book, but just something that shows me the design language of different species so I'm not going to paint the same blobby plants over and over, but rather will get some more unique and interesting shapes/silhouettes and textures that are more grounded on reality.

    Website
    Sketchbook
    Blog

    "Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley

    "If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. #2
    Arshes Nei's Avatar
    Arshes Nei is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Torrance, CA
    Posts
    6,802
    Thanks
    2,278
    Thanked 4,259 Times in 2,074 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    You can look at some Field Guides. I used to keep animal field guides around and Zoobooks as reference.

    You can also use http://www.botany.com

    I'd mix and match different references like Homes and Gardens, going to the library etc to increase visual reference.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Arshes Nei For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    2,364
    Thanks
    796
    Thanked 1,273 Times in 887 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    It's all black & white, and it's dedicated to "dry media," but Jack Hamm's Drawing Scenery: Landscapes and Seascapes may help with some of the skeletal "non blobby" stuff.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kamber Parrk For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    481
    Thanks
    539
    Thanked 395 Times in 174 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    "The Artistic Anatomy of Trees" by Rex Vicat Cole is pretty good. It's published by Dover, so it's cheap. He does go quite a bit into growth patterns and the designs of different species, but he tends to stay focused on European trees (IIRC).

    I did some googling to see if it was in public domain yet (it's not) and found that his two volume "British Trees" is available as a free e-book from Google books. I haven't read those, though, so can't comment on their usefulness.

    Here's a link:

    http://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks...rex+vicat+cole

    "Contrary to the belief of the layman, the essential of art is not to imitate nature, but under the guise of imitation to stir up excitement with pure plastic elements: measurements, directions, ornaments, lights, values, colors, substances, divided and organized according to the injunctions of natural laws. While so occupied, the artist never ceases to be subservient to nature, but instead of imitating the incidents in a paltry way, he imitates the laws."-Andre Lhote

    Web, FineArt, Sketchbook
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  7. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to jpacer For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    810
    Thanks
    187
    Thanked 1,366 Times in 319 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    jp, that googlebooks link doesn't seem to lead to download links outside Nth America, but both volumes plus Artistic Anatomy of Trees are on archive.org, which should work everywhere.
    http://archive.org/search.php?query=...iatype%3Atexts

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to briggsy@ashtons For This Useful Post:


  10. #6
    JeffX99's Avatar
    JeffX99 is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,896 Times in 2,544 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I know you know this already but...observation is going to be your best teacher. Books tend to deal with isolated, "ideal" trees to illustrate the particular details and patterns of the individual specimen - all good, but in nature trees more often occur in masses, groves and clumps. Understanding and capturing the character of the mass of trees, how it interacts and lies on the terrain, etc. is more important in conveying the feel of things.

    In addition to the books mentioned (which are good) I would study a bunch of artists to see how they handle the same problems - variety in trees and shrubbery. Carlson is of course great for forest interiors and I would definitley look at Clyde Aspevig...and plenty more of course.

    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to JeffX99 For This Useful Post:


  12. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    481
    Thanks
    539
    Thanked 395 Times in 174 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by briggsy@ashtons View Post
    jp, that googlebooks link doesn't seem to lead to download links outside Nth America, but both volumes plus Artistic Anatomy of Trees are on archive.org, which should work everywhere.
    http://archive.org/search.php?query=...iatype%3Atexts
    Ahh! Thanks, Briggsy! So, "Artistic Anatomy..." IS public domain. That's what I thought, but since it didn't come up with Google books I assumed otherwise. That's what I get for just using Google.

    "Contrary to the belief of the layman, the essential of art is not to imitate nature, but under the guise of imitation to stir up excitement with pure plastic elements: measurements, directions, ornaments, lights, values, colors, substances, divided and organized according to the injunctions of natural laws. While so occupied, the artist never ceases to be subservient to nature, but instead of imitating the incidents in a paltry way, he imitates the laws."-Andre Lhote

    Web, FineArt, Sketchbook
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  13. #8
    LORD M's Avatar
    LORD M is offline That guy from the cheer me up thread Level 13 Gladiator: Retiarius
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    2,626
    Thanks
    3,340
    Thanked 5,790 Times in 1,165 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by briggsy@ashtons View Post
    jp, that googlebooks link doesn't seem to lead to download links outside Nth America, but both volumes plus Artistic Anatomy of Trees are on archive.org, which should work everywhere.
    http://archive.org/search.php?query=...iatype%3Atexts
    I've been looking for something like this! Thanks man!

    "I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams" - Zdzislaw Beksinski
    My Happy Little Sketchbook, please check it out and help me get better!

    My TUMBLR!
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  14. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    1,881
    Thanks
    1,455
    Thanked 1,434 Times in 746 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks for the help so far guys! I downloaded the books in Briggsy's link, and I'll read through them when I get a chance.

    Website
    Sketchbook
    Blog

    "Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley

    "If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  15. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,680
    Thanks
    699
    Thanked 596 Times in 283 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Books tend to deal with isolated, "ideal" trees to illustrate the particular details and patterns of the individual specimen - all good, but in nature trees more often occur in masses, groves and clumps. Understanding and capturing the character of the mass of trees, how it interacts and lies on the terrain, etc. is more important in conveying the feel of things.
    .
    In that case you will probably be pleasantly suprised when you look at Coles book.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Craig D For This Useful Post:


  17. #11
    JeffX99's Avatar
    JeffX99 is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,896 Times in 2,544 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Craig D View Post
    In that case you will probably be pleasantly suprised when you look at Coles book.
    Cool - I'll check it out.

    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  18. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    130
    Thanks
    60
    Thanked 93 Times in 53 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I have a book called "Botany for the Artist" by Sarah Simblet, and found it to be excellent. It's very much parallel to an "anatomy for artists" book - it covers both the anatomy of various kinds of flowers, leaves, stalks, tree trunks and so on to improve your understanding of what you are drawing, and also drawing techniques for capturing them by building them from basic shapes (there is a particularly good section about how to easily draw leaves from any possible angle).

    It's generally geared toward those wanting to make detailed drawings of plants, so if you are rather looking to create "background foliage" in paintings or illustrations another book more geared toward that might be better, but if you want to create work with plants and trees as a focal point or in foreground focus, I strongly recommend it.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  19. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    360
    Thanks
    29
    Thanked 257 Times in 120 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I recommend Botany for the Artist as well. Here's a page example.



    DK Books should have thick reference books on plants and forests.

    Parka Blogs <- Most dangerous blog for artists (and their wallets).
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to Parka81 For This Useful Post:


  21. #14
    JeffX99's Avatar
    JeffX99 is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    5,234
    Thanks
    3,512
    Thanked 4,896 Times in 2,544 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Nice! Thanks Parka!

    What would Caravaggio do?
    _________________________

    Portfolio
    Plein Air
    Digital
    Still Life
    Sight Measuring
    Fundamentals
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 1

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •